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Political experts question real intention of Chinese Ambassador to Nepal's meeting with President Bhandari

ANI | Updated: Jul 07, 2020 11:47 IST

Kathmandu [Nepal], July 7 (ANI): Amidst the ongoing turmoil within Nepal's internal politics, the meeting of Chinese Ambassador to Nepal Hou Yanqi with government officials and political party leaders had raised speculations into Beijing's involvement in Kathmandu politics.
Last week, Chinese Ambassador met President Bidya Bhandari and senior Nepal Communist Party (NCP) leader Madhav Kumar Nepal. This meeting was held even as there were questions over Bhandari's role in the ruling communist party, reported Kathmandu Post.
The Kathmandu Post reported that some officials in the Foreign Ministry have stated that the President's Office has been repeatedly violating the diplomatic code of conduct.
It was further reported that the under-secretary from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs posted at the President's Office, whose duty is to brief the President on potential meetings with foreign dignitaries and ambassadors, was not informed about the meeting between Bhandari and Hou.
"As per the diplomatic code of conduct, Foreign Ministry officials should be present at such meetings, but we were not informed...So there is no institutional record of the meetings and we don't know what the talking points were," the ministry official was quoted by the Post.
Similarly, the details of a meeting between Hou and Madhav Nepal remain secret. Though it is speculated that they discussed the ongoing conflict within the ruling party where Hou urged all conflicting sides to maintain restraint, Bishnu Rijal, deputy chief of the Foreign Relations Department, was quoted as saying, "I don't have details about the meeting between Nepal and Ambassador Hou but as far as I understand Chinese protocol, the Chinese begin meeting top ranking officials and gradually come down to other officials."
Speaking on the recent Hou's meetings, Chinese Embassy spokesperson Zhang Si was quoted as saying, "The embassy keeps good relationships with Nepali leaders and is ready to exchange views on issues of common interest at any convenient time."
Though Nepal and China call their meetings as just for maintaining good relationships, it is speculated that Beijing might be intending to expand its political doctrine to Nepal.
Recently, Nepal, as a member of the UN Human Rights Council, had voted in favour of the Chinese security law regarding Hong Kong even as most countries were against the imposition. (ANI)

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